Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel 9th Gen i9-9900K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7**
P1.70 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
Intel 8th Gen i7-8086K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7
P1.70 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
Intel 7th Gen i7-7700K
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone*
G.Skill RipjawsV
Intel 6th Gen i7-6700K
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone*
G.Skill RipjawsV
Intel HEDT i9-7900X
ASRock X299
OC Formula
P1.40 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
AMD 2000 R7 2700X
R5 2600X
R5 2500X
ASRock X370
Gaming K4
P4.80 Wraith Max* G.Skill SniperX
2x8 GB
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX200 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched
*VRM Supplimented with SST-FHP141-VF 173 CFM fans

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
Intel Core i9-9900K at 95W Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019
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  • TechSideUp - Sunday, December 2, 2018 - link

    Can you show me where your getting this i9-9900k for $488? Lol
  • peevee - Monday, December 3, 2018 - link

    " Alex Yee, a researcher from NWU and now software optimization developer, that I realized that he has optimized the software like crazy to get the best performance."

    What CPU he optimized it for? Let me guess... the one he has in his room.
  • tviceman - Monday, December 3, 2018 - link

    I'd like to see what kind of performance gains may be had with an undervolt when TDP limited.
  • TheJian - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - link

    I think people are confusing WATTS USED with TDP (amount of HEAT a chip puts off that your HSF or case etc has too be able to accommodate to cool said chip). They are telling manufacturers of laptops, pc's etc how good their cooling design needs to be to keep the chip from heating up.

    THERMAL DESIGN POWER (point might be more accurate, as some use it), is just as it sounds. THERMAL, er, uh, HEAT. Get it? I'm confused by everyone's confusion...LOL.

    Perhaps a bit better explanation than anandtech is providing. Maybe they need an A+ course?

    "TDP ≠ power draw?"
    "Not quite, no. TDP doesn't equate to how much power will be drawn by the component in question, but that doesn't mean you can't use the value provided as an estimation."

    "TDP is not — however — a direct measure of how much power a component will draw, but it can be a good indicator."

    So, don't expect watts PULLED from a wall to equal a quoted TDP. That isn't what it is, although it may come close to meaning it...ROFL.

    If you had a 100% efficient chip (as someone else noted isn't possible...yet?), your chips TDP rating would be ZERO. It would not require anything to cool it. See the point?

    "The thermal design power (TDP), sometimes called thermal design point, is the maximum amount of heat generated by a computer chip or component (often the CPU or GPU) that the cooling system in a computer is designed to dissipate under any workload."

    Not exactly watts used right?

    "What does TDP mean?
    Thermal Design Power (TDP), sometimes called Thermal Design Point, is a metric that is expressed in watts. TDP refers to the amount of power/heat a cooling system (like fan, heatsink) is expected to dissipate to prevent overheating."

    Again, not watts used. I could point to another dozen, but people should get the point. Despite whatever Intel/AMD think it means year to year (ROFL), it's heat.

    Same story from OC people. To each his own I guess, but many seem confused about why things blow past tdp (because it's not WATTS). What is the chips temp when it blows past those TDP numbers at stock settings? Is it 150 instead of 95 or whatever? I mean if Dell or someone designs their slim pc's for 95w it likely won't work to well if it's going to 150 temps with a box that is designed to cool 95-100w right? Again, the definition used here really don't work IMHO (and everyone else I seem to look up...LOL). But hey, maybe my old A+ test was wrong (I'm old, maybe I'm just not recalling things correctly, and all the web is wrong too) :) I doubt it ;)
  • Gastec - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - link

    Perpetuum mobile IS impossible. And I don't want a CPU that's advertised as consuming 95W to 110W (give more than take the PSU inefficiency and other losses on the pipe) to automatically overclock to 170 W because of review benchmarks. I want it to be set BY DEFAULT at max. 95-110W and I also want it to do 5GHz on all cores @ 95-110W, as advertised:) Then I would pay 490€ for it.
  • DennisBaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - link

    I wanted to build a new PC on Black Friday, and I bought an i9-9900k. I never overclock and typically buy a locked/non-k CPU but couldn't wait until next year. I also always use a SFF case (Cooler Master Elite 130).

    This is a great article, but I'm not sure how to actually set the bios for a 95w max cpu setting.
    I have the Asrock z390 phantom gaming-itx/ac motherboard:

    I've been googling without success and figured I would just ask here if there is a general guide for this.
  • DennisBaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - link

    Set to:

    Long Duration Power Limit: 95
    Long Duration Maintained: Auto
    Short Duration Power Limit: 95

    Seems like that should work.
  • 0ldman79 - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

    I guess the 95w limit prevented whatever resource snag or thermal throttling issues that was happening with the unlimited version.

    That would explain the benches where it won vs the unlimited 9900k.
  • HikariWS - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Great article! I've been guessing about turbo values for years and this aticle answered it all!!

    Of course we need more transparency from Intel, I suppose this info is left for marketers to release and they think we'd not understand, so they just leave it hidden.

    It's great how the same chip can be used on a small form factor and on a big E-ATX case. Modern turbo makes manual overclocking almost not needed, left for watercooling or maybe some manual Vcore setting.

    It's basicly a matter of having a good case, a great cooler, and live in Europe to be able to keep 4700MHz all the time!

    I wish Intel would release a top performing CPU with 4 core and no IGP, that would do 4.5GHz base and 5.5GHz All Core Turbo without watercooling. We don't need more than 4 cores.
  • misources - Sunday, May 10, 2020 - link

    Nice article about Intel Core i9. please visit my site for more tutorial www.misources.com

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